Rembering when a great Scottish reformist died


The Mound Statue of John Knox in New College, Faculty of Divinity, The University of Edinburgh Picture: Neil Hanna

John Knox passed away 443 years ago.

The leader of the Protestant Reformation, he is considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination.

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John was influenced by John Calvin in Switzerland and was inspired to bring religious reform to Scotland.

John Knox grave in Parliament Square, which is now a car park

The Scottish Reformation began after Knox preached a fiery sermon at the church of St John the Baptist in Perth, after which a mob began to riot and loot the surrounding churches and friaries. In 1560, Knox and his advisers drew up a new Confession of Faith, which was followed by acts of parliament forbidding the celebration of Mass in Scotland and abolishing adherence to the Pope.

Knox spent his final years in Edinburgh, and when he was 50-years-old, in 1564, caused controversy by marrying seventeen-year-old Margaret Stewart, with whom he had three daughters.

He preached until his final days and died whilst hearing Bible readings from his friends and wife.